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New Jersey church 'safe haven' for Indonesian immigrant
Saul Timisela (center) at Reformed Church of Highland Park, where he plans to stay until his immigration case is resolved.
March 20th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

New Jersey church 'safe haven' for Indonesian immigrant

By Mary Snow, CNN

(CNN) – A bed, space heater and a place to put his clothes are all Saul Timisela have in a room he calls home. But his new refuge inside New Jersey’s Reformed Church of Highland Park is the only thing that stands between him and deportation.

"I feel safe," says Timisela, who moved into a Sunday school classroom on March 1, when he defied an order to return to his native Indonesia. His wife has since joined him.   "All the members are so welcoming,” adds Timisela,  who says he’s prepared to stay in the church until his case is solved.

When and if that happens is a question mark. In the eyes of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Timisela is an "immigration fugitive" who was "ordered removed" from the U.S. in 2006 but failed to leave. He says he was unaware of that 2006 order. He’s now inside a church, and it’s unlikely that immigration officials would raid it.

Read the full update on Carl's story here from CNN's In America Blog.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Church and state • Faith Now

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    Since christians like talking about hell so much, why don't they all just go there?

    Stupid fuckin retards.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • You are a moron sitting on just sayin's handle.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  2. Deco

    I'm glad the church is doing this.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  3. TOS

    CNN- As long as you stay Anti-Christian you are doing a great job. No wonder the traffic to your site is so heavy.

    Hey oelson what are those numbers, again? ;)

    March 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  4. Urafkntool

    I'm still trying to figure out why this non-wh-i-t-e filth belongs in this country?

    March 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Ben

      as compared with white filth such as yourself?

      March 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Urafkntool

      This is a wh-i-t-e country. Take a look at the const-i-tution before the il-le-gal 14-th ame-ndme-nt. Immigration and citizenship restricted to Free Wh-i-t-e persons. Not even wh-i-t-e in-dent-ured ser-vant-s, only Free whites. This was intended to be a w-hit-e only nation and our founding fathers are rolling in their graves over what we've allowed to happen to it.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."
      Nope, nothing in there about "but only if they're white and Christian".
      Sorry UrafKKKntool, you lose.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      @ Doc Vestibule
      Urafkntool is either a troll or an idiot. Ether way you are going to need more than a poem from a plaque to justify the current illegal immigration crisis. But hey things have changed at all since 1903 right?

      March 21, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Urafkntool

      That was a call to EUROPE, nowhere else.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  5. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Read about it at http://santorum.com
    Christianity takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Christian prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. See http://santorum.com to learn more.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    March 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Bippy, the bigoted atheist syphillitic squirrel

      Bigots – you just gotta love us!

      March 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Ben

      Love the lines about hoarding cats and secretive flatulence.

      But why are you pushing Santorum's website http://santorum.com?

      March 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Bippy, the Lesser Squirrel-God of Festering Angry Christians

      I HAVE MY OWN TROLL IMITATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Everyone else had one and I was really feeling left out, but now everything is just ducky and good!

      I do feel cheated, though, because mine is so unimaginative and humor-impaired and, well, just dull-witted as all get out, but maybe I can use my Frequent Flying Squirrel miles to upgrade to a better class of troll.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Fluffy The Gerbil of Doom

      Bippy , my friend. Look what Fluffy found. :) The farting preacher. Fluffy and his family wish they could go to his church.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • Fluffy The Gerbil of Doom

      March 21, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  6. Alien Orifice

    We are all on drugs.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      But we're goin' back down South.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Or we could go to Bloodbuzz Ohio.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      And head over to Cherub Rock.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      We can have a vampire weekend under a white sky!

      March 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Let's invite The Roller.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Every tear drop will be a waterfall....

      March 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      ...into a jar.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      ...in the middle.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Block after block.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      For what it's worth.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      We are the magnetic zeros. Take your placebo please.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  7. just sayin

    I love being drunk in the Spirit

    March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Or at least in your own excesses

      March 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I love being drunk too.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Janine

      just sayin is that how you make up for not getting any? You sure sound like a limp one.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      I turn down more than most people get.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Erin

      just sayin:

      If that were true you wouldn't have so much time to post, you little limp one.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      The number of posts are because there are so many people that want to be me, and if i am turning it down i have all the time i need. Are you jealous too erin?

      March 21, 2012 at 4:18 am |
  8. just sayin

    Praise Jesus!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Philippians 2

      5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

      6 Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
      7 but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
      8 And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
      9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
      10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
      11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • just sayin

      I love jesus so much I walk around in diapers and hang from posts for fun.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • just sayin

      Do you know Jesus?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      I ask this because to know him is to hear him.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I know Jesus.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I know several. Most hang out at Home Depot waiting for the contractors to come by in their pick-ups to offer a day job. The other works in a kitchen at a Chinese restaurant. Go figure.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  9. Benny Hinn

    God and prayer challenge

    Lets sacrifice one Christian a day for 360 days. Lets see at the end how many were spared by their God.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      I have no doubt my God would spare me. He talks to me.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      Revelation chapter 6 verses 9 through 11.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      God talks dirty to me.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "Revelation chapter 6 verses 9 through 11."

      written by men to manipulate the masses....#youignant

      March 21, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  10. Atheism is very healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out. http://santorum.com
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Toad

      Atheist filth

      March 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • U mad bro?

      ░░░░░░░░░░░░▄▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▄
      ░░░░░█░░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▀▀▄
      ░░░░█░░░▒▒▒▒▒▒░░░░░░░░▒▒▒░█
      ░░░█░░░░░░▄██▀▄▄░░░░░▄▄▄░░░█
      ░▄▀▒▄▄▄▒░█▀▀▀▀▄▄█░░░██▄▄█░░░█
      ...█░▒█▒▄░▀▄▄▄▀░░░░░░░░█░░░▒▒▒▒▒█
      █░▒█░█▀▄▄░░░░░█▀░░░░▀▄░░▄▀▀▄▒█
      ░█░▀▄░█▄░█▀▄▄░▀░▀▀░▄▄▀░░░░░█
      ░░█░░░░██░░▀█▄▄▄█▄▄█▄████░█
      ░░░█░░░░▀▀▄░█░░░█░█▀██████░█
      ░░░░▀▄░░░░░▀▀▄▄▄█▄█▄█▄█▄▀░░█
      ░░░░░░▀▄▄░▒▒▒▒░░░░░░░░░░▒░░░█
      ░░░░░░░░░▀▀▀▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▀

      March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I shower.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  11. J.W

    You know what we have not talked enough about? Contraception

    March 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Or the existence of God. Haven't covered that one in ages

      I thought you were contracontraception

      March 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I was gonna buy a condominium but I never use em, yo.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  12. I'm The Best!

    He should be deported and the priest, along with any parishioners that didn't help the police, should be imprisoned for housing a known fugitive and aiding and abetting the priest in his illegal activity.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      What is this Highlander or Vampires???? They know where he is..get him.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      He looks nice.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  13. ? ? ?

    The religious right is against illegal aliens when they are Mexican, but illegally harbors them when they are Indonesian. If you as an individual harbored a fugitive illegal alien like this church is doing, you would go to jail for it.

    There is no making sense of religion.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • thisguy

      Maybe its because your mixing religion with politics...

      March 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  14. portland tony

    I have no pony in this race....The church and the Government can work it out.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  15. Urafkntool

    he doesn't belong here. Get him out!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  16. Observer

    You are too caring, William. I recall in 1985 Philadelphia police used a bomb to deal with a similar situation.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Observer

      Let us pray for taxation of churches.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      When you bring the government into the church, be prepared to bring the church into the government.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Your masterful use of discontinuous logic completely shuts me down, just sayin.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • momoya

      @ just sayin'

      No, businesses are taxed in the US.. Some of them are "represented" in the government through the actions of lobbyists, but most aren't.. Churches are businesses; therefore, they should be taxed.. They are welcome to establish lobby groups in DC under the same laws that allow for other businesses to establish lobby groups..

      March 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Cardiff

      People who have no clue about taxation wax eloquent on matters related to tax... ;)

      March 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • portland tony

      If it did you would cease to trolls!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      To tax the churches would be in violation of the founding doc uments of America and open the door to government sponsored religion. The problem that many of the early settlers in America had faced in Europe. In a modern scenario, a Mormon Presidency could rule as an agent of Mormonism favoring Mormons and persecuting all others. Or a Muslim President could rule as a Muslim, favoring Islam and persecuting all others and so forth. Leave the separation alone

      March 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "To tax the churches would be in violation of the founding doc uments of America and open the door to government sponsored religion. "

      not if you tax ALL religions equally.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • J.W

      Tax all atheist organizations

      March 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .. .. .. ... .. . ..

      March 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • momoya

      Don't be stupid, just sayin', it'd be easy to treat churches like businesses when it comes to taxation.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      I could agree on a flat tax for all churches

      March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • just sayin

      Could you agree to come up with your own handle?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      I did, I was going to ask the same of myself but you beat me to it.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  18. jimtanker

    Just another way that the church can break the laws of the US and get away with it. Seperation of church and state! Start taxing the churches and we will save $$billions.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  19. AGuest9

    How many homeless American citizens do they house and feed?

    March 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Church cares for millions annually.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other thinking beings

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Inconvenient Angry Pervert Prophet
      Sure, some churches do good.
      The Mormons have spent $750 million since 1984 on international charity.
      They've also spent 4 times that amount in 1/4 of the time on a mall.

      Prof. Victor J. Stenger pointed out that "in 1996, the then Texas governor George W. Bush saw to it that state agencies eliminated inspection requirements of religious charities. In five years, the rate of confirmed abuse and neglect at religious facilities rose by a factor of twenty-five compared to state-licensed (secular) facilities."

      A survey by researchers at Villanova University in the USA has found that 85 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses that responded had discovered embezzlement of church funds in the past five years, with 11 percent reporting that more than $500,000 had been stolen.
      In October 2006 alone, three such cases surfaced, including one in Delray Beach, Fla., where two priests spent $8.6 million on trips to Las Vegas, dental work, property taxes and other expenses over four decades. In June 2007, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. fired its second-ranking financial officer, Judy Golliher, after she admitted stealing money that church officials put at more than $132,000.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      ?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      We help a select few, the rest goes into our pockets.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • AGuest9

      That's what I thought. I haven't seen a church that doesn't lock its doors at 5PM in decades. So much "refuge"., eh?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      You forget the Salvation Army and City Mission facilities, not to mention the kitchens, shelters and benevolence set up by individual congregations throughout this country. What do you do to help ?

      March 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  20. William DeMuth

    Deport him AND the priests

    Enough is enough

    March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Benny Hinn

      Deport him and feed the priest to the lions

      March 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
1 2

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.